How GEO Week 2020 is Going to Aid SMMEs

GEO Week 2020 Industry Track

The Asian Development Bank Institute has rightly noted “lack of networks that can contribute to a lack of information, know-how, and experience of domestic and international markets” as one of the major challenges faced by Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs). 

As a way to solve this challenge, the Group on Earth Observation(GEO) plans to host an industry track during the 2020 GEO week celebration.

The Industry Track is a dedicated Networking Platform which will bring together development practitioners, governments, and the private sector with a special focus to supporting Small and Medium Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs). This networking event will advance SMMEs access to knowledge, markets and partners by connecting business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-business (B2B) through virtual rooms.

During the last year’s track, an African startup – Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa)  secured sponsorship from Amazon Web Services (AWS) under the  Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative. This sponsorship is supporting DE Africa by providing storage of large datasets including Copernicus Sentinel-2 and USGS Landsat satellite imagery in the new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region.

Aside from this sponsorship, the industry track event achieved other feats like being ‘one of the world’s largest gatherings of Earth observation practitioners and policymakers’. It also had more than 50 representatives from companies like Planet, Google, Amazon Web Services, Esri, Maxar and e-GEOS in attendance.

Similarly, this year’s edition of the industry track will feature a company profiling session which will allow companies to showcase their EO innovations. Bridging the gender diversity gap in EO and the critical role of EO in agriculture and water resource management would also be discussed by experts during the event. Besides, the track will feature one panellist session to discuss the collaboration between the public and private sector in the EO industry, and another session to discuss EO for sustainable cities and communities in the future of work.   

Furthermore, The 2-day event will also feature the announcement of winners in the Space Tech Challenge Competition. In September, the competition opened applications for novel ideas in EO space from African entrepreneurs and innovators. Selected entrepreneurs and innovators would undergo a 1- month business development support. The competition which was organized in collaboration with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), ZA Space and the South African Department of Science and Innovation, aims to build momentum for an in-person Industry Track in Port Elizabeth, South Africa next year. 

Also, going to be featured at this year’s track are virtual talks and giveaways.

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